Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark ★★★★★

“Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?”

This film was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davies, Ronald Lacey, Paul Freeman, and Denholm Elliott

I kinda had a Karen Allen double feature with this and John Carpenter’s Starman, yeah I’d say it was a pretty good night.

If I had to define the word perfect Raiders Of The Lost Ark would instantly come to mind, I whole heartedly believe this is one of the greatest films ever created. So I actually had the chance to see the film in theaters a few months ago and I gotta say it was one of the best theater experiences of my whole life, there is truly nothing like being able to watch one of your all time favorite movies on the big screen. What I love so much about this movie is the fact that it’s the brainchild of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, now you tell me what’s more perfect than that.

“Indy why does the flood move?”

This movie has in my opinion the absolute best opening sequence to any movie ever, period. Douglas Slocombe’s cinematography in that opening sequence alone is one of the most glorious things I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Speaking of Douglas Slocombe’s cinematography sprinkled throughout the entire movie there is unbelievable shots, scenes that instantly come to mind are the night time sequence when they are digging up the entrance to the tomb with the Ark, that brilliant shot of Indy overlooking the diggers on top of the hill with the diggers singing and the beautiful sunset in the background, and of course the entire finale has beautiful cinematography.

“Now you're getting nasty.”

I can’t talk about Indiana Jones without talking about John Williams iconic score, when I think movie scores his theme is the one that always comes to mind first, it’s glorious. When I first got my piano one of the first songs I started to practice was the Raiders theme, in my personal opinion it’s the best score of all time, I challenge someone to fight me on that. Williams music is brilliant all throughout the film, and one of things that makes it so memorable is how much the tone of it varies depending on the situation on screen. When things are intense the music gets very loud and fast, the Boulder scene being a perfect example. But when we get a scene with Marion and Indy alone together you get that very slow romantic theme that sticks in your head, the “where does it hurt scene” for example.

“Professor of archeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it? Obtainer of rare antiquities.”

Some of the best aspects of the entire movie are the characters and the performances, Harrison Ford absolutely nailed his performance as Indiana Jones, nobody and I mean nobody and can play Indy besides Harrison. Of course Ronald Lacey who gave one of the best villain performances of all time, his slow creepy manor is haunting. I love Karen Allen, her performance as Marion is incredible, what I love about the character of Marion is the fact that she’s not your typical damsel in distress and in my opinion she still remands the best love interest ever put to screen in any film. Of course Indiana Jones wouldn’t be the same without John Rhys-Davies’s Sallah, he’s such a lovable character and I also gotta give a shout out to Denholm Elliott, while he didn’t have the biggest role in Raiders he still turned in a phenomenal performance as Marcus Brody. Everyone is fantastic in this movie, nobody feels out of place.

“You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do.”

The locations they filmed the movie at are fantastic and absolutely gorgeous to look at, along with some of the best set pieces ever, seriously the set pieces are glorious. The cave in the opening sequence in particular is phenomenal, the booby traps and of course the Golden Idle make that scene so iconic, I also wanna mention the violence in the movie, I mean we literally see Satipo’s dead body with spikes through him and blood dripping from him within the first 10 minutes of the movie, and that’s not the only example, the burning face at the end, the constant stabs and bullet wounds throughout the movie are crazy, I LOVE IT SO MUCH! The reason I bring that up though is the fact that the film is PG, it amazes me how much you could get away with back then and it only strengthens my love for the film.

“The Bible speaks of the Ark leveling mountains and laying waste in entire regions. An Army that carries the Ark before it... is invincible.”

I have gotta hand it to one of the greatest stunt man to ever live Terry Leonard. This movie has my favorite stunt from any action sequence in film, I am of course talking about the truck drag. In order to complete the sequence, the truck actually had to be specially constructed to sit higher than normal on its wheels and a trench had to be dug along its path to provide the actors underneath it with even more clearance. Another thing to love about this film is the practical effects. Without the use of CGI, the SFX and VFX teams did an amazing job. No other scene from this film more iconic than the infamous face melting during the finale. Reading about how the team achieved this only grows my appreciation for this film.

“I'm going after that truck.”

The story of the film is absolutely genius we follow Indiana Jones an archaeologist who in 1936 is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain it and it’s biblical powers. Along the way he crosses paths with his old love Marion Ravenwood, it’s from Marion that he obtains the head piece of the staff of Ra, which is the key to discovering the location of the Ark Of The Covenant, Indy must find it before the Nazis can so that he can stop them from unleashing its power. What makes the story so great is the fact that it’s based on real biblical stories from the Bible, of course the actual Ark of the Covenant being the biggest example in which it contains the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

“Don't look, Marion! Keep your eyes SHUT!”

The action sequences in this movie are incredible, every single one is memorable and awesome to watch, the bar fight, the plane fight, the outside market fight, they are all so great. The entire car chase is perfection, there really isn’t anything else to say about it. Fun fact the iconic scene with the swordsman and Indy was not originally supposed to end with Indy pulling out a gun, they originally had an entire fight sequence planned out but there was horrible food poisoning going around the set that day that Harrison Ford just said “can’t I just shoot him” because he wasn’t feeling up to the scene, Spielberg of course said yes and it gave us one of if not the most iconic moment from any Indiana Jones movie.

“It belongs in a Museum!”

Every character in this film feels so well thought out and every character feels perfect for the story, I love the introduction of Indy of course, it’s almost like when they introduce him and show his face for the first time with the music it makes it seem as if he’s not your typical hero, right away from the opening scene we see that he is a flawed human being, and thats the reason we care about him, he’s not perfect he’s just an Archeologist trying to obtain artifacts so that he can give them to a museum. Marion might have my favorite introduction however, we first see her in her bar playing a drinking for money, from that scene we instantly know she’s not you typical female protagonist.

“It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.”

Finally I need to mention that final shot of the warehouse, it’s still gives me chills to this day, because of Kingdom of the Crystal skull we actually know that it’s Area-51 which just makes that scene so much better to me.

Overall this film is nothing short of a MASTERPIECE and is one of my top favorite films of all time without a doubt.

10/10

“Jock, there's a snake in the plane!”
“Oh, that's just my pet snake Reggie.”
“I hate snakes, hate some much.”

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